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Creative Writing/Lit PhD Roll Call


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I'm just wondering who else is hanging around here.

I'm applying to only one PhD program in Creative Writing & Lit this year, in poetry. Only one because it's in my city and I'm not in a position to move away right now. If rejected, I will apply to more programs when I'm able and/or willing to leave here. Who else is applying here? What is your genre and all that? Where are you applying?

I'm in poetry. I've got an MFA and am applying to the PhD program after a few couple years of funded time to write. I'm almost done with my first book and am ready to begin work on my second one; the PhD coursework period seems like a good time to let the second book coalesce, and I want to teach in a CW program eventually .... so, well, here I am. I'm very nervous but trying to be optimistic.

I have to say, though, that the GRE tests are a real blight on an otherwise inoffensive process. Just painful. I just took the GRE and received a 690 Verbal. I'm a little bummed, because I had been scoring above 700V on all my practice tests (including PowerPrep). Standardized tests have never been my thing and I was hoping to "beat" this one. It sounds stupid, but it looks as if I was one (or so) question away from "beating" it and proving to these bastards that this poet with severe standardized test anxiety (I noticed I get physical symptoms, such as shortness of breath/chest constriction ... that was lovely.) could "win."

I know 690 isn't actually bad, though, so don't worry -- I hate when people come by with high scores (sometimes 700+) and act as if they failed, not even thinking they're asking advice from people who did worse on the test. Anyway, if you're curious, I received a 510 on the math, which I'm actually really happy to have. I barely studied (no time) and could have easily done worse. I didn't even take a "real" math course in college (it was something called "conceptual math," for humanities majors who need to fulfill the lib arts req), so it's been many years since I had to do any math beyond the basics.

Onto the GRE Lit test now. I'm behind on my studying for that because I've been preparing for the regular GRE. I only got a 570 on my first practice test (an official one from the late '80s). I hope I can get at least a 600 on the real test. The more 20th century and lit theory on the test, the better I will probably do, so I hope people are right when they say the test includes more of that. How are you guys preparing for it?

And then I plan on writing poetry and playing video games until I pass out and/or throw up from joy at being finished. Can't wait!

Well, there's not much of a point to this post. I'm just curious who else is here!

Edited by sarandipidy
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I'm just wondering who else is hanging around here.

I'm applying to only one PhD program in Creative Writing & Lit this year, in poetry. Only one because it's in my city and I'm not in a position to move away right now. If rejected, I will apply to more programs when I'm able and/or willing to leave here. Who else is applying here? What is your genre and all that? Where are you applying?

I'm in poetry. I've got an MFA and am applying to the PhD program after a few couple years of funded time to write. I'm almost done with my first book and am ready to begin work on my second one; the PhD coursework period seems like a good time to let the second book coalesce, and I want to teach in a CW program eventually .... so, well, here I am. I'm very nervous but trying to be optimistic.

I have to say, though, that the GRE tests are a real blight on an otherwise inoffensive process. Just painful. I just took the GRE and received a 690 Verbal. I'm a little bummed, because I had been scoring above 700V on all my practice tests (including PowerPrep). Standardized tests have never been my thing and I was hoping to "beat" this one. It sounds stupid, but it looks as if I was one (or so) question away from "beating" it and proving to these bastards that this poet with severe standardized test anxiety (I noticed I get physical symptoms, such as shortness of breath/chest constriction ... that was lovely.) could "win."

I know 690 isn't actually bad, though, so don't worry -- I hate when people come by with high scores (sometimes 700+) and act as if they failed, not even thinking they're asking advice from people who did worse on the test. Anyway, if you're curious, I received a 510 on the math, which I'm actually really happy to have. I barely studied (no time) and could have easily done worse. I didn't even take a "real" math course in college (it was something called "conceptual math," for humanities majors who need to fulfill the lib arts req), so it's been many years since I had to do any math beyond the basics.

Onto the GRE Lit test now. I'm behind on my studying for that because I've been preparing for the regular GRE. I only got a 570 on my first practice test (an official one from the late '80s). I hope I can get at least a 600 on the real test. The more 20th century and lit theory on the test, the better I will probably do, so I hope people are right when they say the test includes more of that. How are you guys preparing for it?

And then I plan on writing poetry and playing video games until I pass out and/or throw up from joy at being finished. Can't wait!

Well, there's not much of a point to this post. I'm just curious who else is here!

I'm applying to Ph.D programs in English lit too. And the GRE drove me mad for about a month...I ended getting a 670 on the verbal, despite much higher practice scores on powerprep (like high 700's and an 800 once). I got a 600 on the math, which i'm happy about because i'm terrible at math, and a 6 on the writing section. Currently I'm terrified about my lit score (i took it in oct). I only had about 2 weeks to study, and i came down with the flu (it was really bad) the night before. I was in kind of a fever-hallucination state while taking the test, and I left A LOT of questions blank...ugh. I actually had a nightmare about getting my scores back and finding out i got a 170 (which is impossible...the lowest score is a 200 i think). But i won't find out my scores until right before the first deadlines (i still don't understand how it takes them 6 weeks to process a scantron sheet).

I'm applying to ten schools. My sop is in a disturbing state right now, and my writing sample is slowly coming along (i'm expanding a grad paper i wrote two years ago). Two of the schools to which i'm applying ask for a personal statement too...and that has me totally stumped. I'm on version three right now, i think.

You should check out the who_got_in 2011 livejournal community. It's just english people applying and everyone is very helpful. Good luck!

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Well hello there!

Where are you applying to?

I'm applying to both PhD in Lit AND PhD CW/Lit (I call this hedging my bets. Others call it crazy)! So nice to meet you! I'm technically a creative non-fiction writer, but there are very few programs that offer non-fiction as an option so I'm also submitting as a fiction student (I write both). I've taught, published (only a TINY bit), and am interested in teaching non-comp classes... hence the PhD.

The GREs really chap my a$$. I'm taking the regular one this Thursday, and the Lit. November 13th. Aside from the stuff they sent me (for the Lit. test), I've checked out a few websites. This one, http://www.duke.edu/~tmw15/index.html, has by far been the most helpful. Starting Saturday it's all read, read, read, to try to re-familiarize myself with literature from my undergrad (which seems eons ago now...).

While I'm hoping to do well, I'm kinda of the opinion (at this point) that they're a touch superfluous. That being said, I don't want to give adcoms a reason to reject me so... study, study, study!

As for SOPs (I'd be interested to know how you plan to attack your SOP for the creative writing programs), personal statements, and analytical essays---working on it. Most are in some state of revising right now so we'll see how it works out I suppose!

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Hi guys,

I thought I'd introduce myself as well. I'm applying to 12 programs this round. Most of my schools are centered in the Northeast and I am only aiming for Top 20 programs. Not because I'm cocky, just because getting in to grad school in the States will enough a huge move for me that involved leaving behind my partner (and possibly even my dog for a few months). Also, I have to think about program reputation not only in America, but abroad.

On the whole, the process is going all right. I did the GREs in August 2009 and was happy with my performance overall. Just got back my Lit GRE scores today and while they weren't amazing (610), I was thrilled.

My areas of specialization are: literary theory, cultural studies, and material culture.

As for SoPs, I have one written so far and from that I will be crafting the other 11. There won't be much variation in each version, just subtle changes depending on whether the emphasis of the program in more literary versus more interdisciplinary in nature.

Writing sample is not something I am thrilled to be using, but it seems to be the best suited to what these programs are looking for. So, at the moment I am revising like a madman and trying to find a few extra goodies to throw into the paper to make it a bit more dynamic.

I'll post my schools in my signature if you are interested, I guess it's better that way so I can remove them at a later time.

It's a pleasure meeting all of you -- if anyone wants to do feedback on samples or SoP evaluations, I'm game...I really dig the friendly vibe of these boards and appreciate everyone's help.

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